Editor’s Note: This article was written by Timothy Cockes, Baptist Press writer and originally appeared at baptistpress.com.
NASHVILLE (BP) – “Calling Out the Called,” a new book written by SBC leaders Shane Pruitt and Scott Pace, discusses the importance of raising up the next generation of ministry leaders.
The book, released Tuesday (Nov. 1) is already one of Amazon’s best sellers in the Christian Church Leadership category, currently ranking No. 2.
Pruitt serves as the national next gen director for the North American Mission Board (NAMB), and Pace is an associate professor and dean of The College at Southeastern.
In a series of videos released on the book’s webpage, Pruitt says he hopes the book will serve as a way to guide and encourage ministry leaders to raise up those who will one day replace them.
“My hope behind writing this book is I believe God has not stopped calling people to ministry leadership,” Pruitt said in a video.
“As leaders, one of our primary focuses has to be calling out those whom God has called to ministry leadership, and to equip them, empower them and disciple them.”
He added the book is for more than just current ministry leaders.
“The book is for everybody,” he said, “but practically we had three people in mind – current leaders calling out the younger generation, those who believe God is calling them to ministry leadership and family and friends of those called.”
Pruitt cited research which suggests there are more protestant ministry leaders over the age of 65 than there are under the age of 40. Additional research he mentioned indicates there may be more people leaving the ministry than people entering the ministry.
The need for a new generation of ministry leaders has not been lost on Southern Baptists, and the book’s title is reminiscent of the third point of Vision 2025, which calls on the Southern Baptist Convention to “increase the total amount of workers in the field though a new emphasis on ‘calling out the called.’”
The six points of Vision 2025 were adopted by messengers to the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting in Nashville.
As the need for new ministry leaders continues to grow, Pruitt recalled the beginning of his own ministry journey. When he was in his early 20s, he felt a call toward ministry leadership, particularly through preaching and teaching.
His first sermon was delivered in front of a small crowd in a small church. He remembers most of the crowd of 30 or so being made up of his friends and family.
As he stumbled through a 14-minute exposition of Psalm 23, Pruitt said he remembers asking for an affirmatory “amen” constantly.
Even though the sermon was not his best work, Pruitt is thankful that it illustrates how far he has come through the influence of the ministry mentors in his life.
“My sermon was terrible, but I am so thankful for a leader who saw a calling of God in my life, and who invested in me and discipled me to be the leader I am today,” Pruitt said.
“Now, I am personally praying for a whole new generation of ministry leaders.”